Right in the middle of a difficult move, a colorful vase dropped to the floor while unpacking. It shattered into what looked like a thousand pieces. I sat down on the floor at that point and just cried my eyes out. I had lost my home in the infamous housing and lending crash of 2008. It took a couple of years or so to actually lose it. I did all I could do to preserve it. It was a hard battle but clearly there was only one way it would go. I was going to have to lose the home that came to mean so much to me.
It was purchased with a down payment of tender money; my son’s life insurance policy from the United States Government. I kept telling myself it was only a bunch of walls and “stuff”. It was so much more than that though. It inhabited memories. Very tender and unforgettable memories. There were Christmas holidays, Thanksgivings when family was around the table, laughter I heard on the other side of the wall when my daughters were up late in the computer room. It was a place I cared for my first granddaughter for her first year of life. I heard her first words, saw her first steps and celebrated her first birthday. No doubt the house was full if first things but also full of last things too. Some hard and some a blessing.
As I picked up the pieces of glass off of the floor I wondered where on earth my life was going to go now. I found myself losing everything. I lost my business, my marriage, my dignity and I guess some respect I thought I had among friends and associates. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye I went from a perceived winner to perceived loser. That was not the problem though. The real issue was the wondering where my life would go. Where does one’s life go once we lose everything we worked for? I sat down right on the floor and stared at the broken glass. There were different colors and different shapes and fragments. My tears asked God, “What do I do now?”
Over days and days I kind of wandered around just walking through the motions of life. As with every storm, the clouds eventually clear. Mine did as well. When they did, I could hear God more clearly. He told me to not forget to dream. You see, it is our dreams that move us forward and onward. Without them we have no goal and begin to feel hopeless. With a sigh I looked around at all the broken pieces of my life. I remembered picking up all of the broken pieces of that vase and throwing them away. Like the vase, it was time to let go of all of life’s disappointments. Also, like the vase, I had to look at them as I threw them away. I thought to myself, “but God, that was just a vase. This is my whole life; everything I worked hard for, sacrificed for, and lived for.”
Suddenly, an idea came to me. It was like it came from nowhere but it was inside of me. In the process of grieving, moving, and business, I forgot to dream. God was recorded as speaking that His people were destroyed for a lack of vision. Without a dream and vision, our lives are empty. We wander like a ship without a sail. Dreams guide us through the most difficult storms. We might feel blind in the storm but the dream will be its light. Dreams are the promise of a new tomorrow. They heal the past and give hope to the future.
Dreams are the glue that put all of the pieces back together again. The colors and shapes might be different, and they are meant to be. Dreams cost only our willingness to pursue them. Other than that, what else do we have to lose? They still might cost something. In fact, they could cost everything. Meaning, letting go of what was behind us, we reach forward to that which is before us. Thank you Apostle Paul for that little chunk of wisdom.
Whatever you do, don’t stop dreaming. When one thing does not work, try something else. Keep on pursuing that dream until you have every single piece put back together again. It won’t look like the same vase, but it will shine just as beautiful and maybe even more.
Loving you from here,
Dr Jenine Marie Howry …..broken but still dreaming.